The biggest thing on my mind right now is my sweet younger sister who is going through a very tough time.
The second biggest thing on my mind is my sweet wife, Cynthia, who cannot remain in Timor-Leste in her current condition. It is time to pack her and the kids up and take them back to Oz. The hole in her heart valve appears to be getting worse. She’s had it all her life but has managed to get by until now. The last two weeks have been spent mostly in bed. So this Wednesday we return to Oz and put the kids into school for a couple of months and I will come back to Timor and we’ll just see how things go. Of course, there are a bunch of things going on for us here which makes it hard to suddenly just leave. We are not sure how things will go in the future but like all of creation its a step-by-step journey. In some sense though, it feels as though my world is falling apart.
Meanwhile, things keep happening. Anen, my friend and neighbour proudly owns his beachfront units with his loan completely paid off after 5 years.
He’s just doing some painting with a change of tenants and the place is looking great.
I got to go out and shift a weather station to a new, more permanent location at Remexio, up the mountain from Dili. The Government staff I work with, Florindo, is here spraying the station against ants which is the biggest killer of electronics.
We usually have an audience, and here some local kids return home from school. They also get our usual speech, “We’re measuring rainfall, so please don’t shoot this thing with your slingshot.” Time will tell. For the adults, they get our other speech, “That thing measures wind speed, when the wind blows, it spins, and not the other way around – it does not bring a big wind here.” Even in high mountain locations like this our stations have been accused of drawing big winds into the area by the little whirly-gig that sits on top and spins. Although the kids don't really get it, this station will contribute to a raft of improvements that will hopefully mean a brighter future for them, albeit a decade or more down the track.
A side effect of sourcing rubber tubing for the corn husker was buying an extra tube for playing at the beach.
The other cool thing that happened was the first container load of farm products got delivered for a group I’m working with called the Nazareth Foundation. We got barbed wire, star pickets, buckets and filters, corn shellers and grinders. Its an exciting time of developing a group that I hope will be able to see problems in the field, research solutions on the internet and import necessary items to deliver innovative and affordable products to a Timorese market. A second container coming will have some chicken wire which we hope will save the lives of a lot of chickens from unnecessary carnage.
Unfortunately, the quality of the barbed wire is not as good as I’d like but its a work in progress.
These and other things will go on hold though, while I take my sweet fam back to Australia for some serious medical attention.